UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is looking to end his rivalry with Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227 once and for all.
The former Team Alpha Male teammates have become bitter rivals since Dillashaw departed the gym. Dillashaw was subsequently dethroned from the top of the 135-pound weight class by the returning Dominick Cruz.
Garbrandt would climb up the ladder and become the first man in years to defeat Cruz and win himself the bantamweight championship.
This would set up a fight between Dillashaw and Garbrandt at UFC 217 on pay-per-view (PPV) this past December. Both men put on an extraordinary performance, with Garbrandt very nearly finishing the fight in the first round.
Back On Top
Dillashaw would fire back in the second round with a knockout shot of his own that ended the bout and found him back at the top of the division.
Now the pair will rematch at UFC 227 in August. Initially it was expected that a superfight between Dillashaw and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson would take place next.
Unfortunately that fight wasn’t able to come to fruition, and while Dillashaw will be taking on Garbrandt, Johnson will defend his title against Henry Cejudo on UFC 227 as well.
Why It Didn’t Happen
At a UFC media luncheon earlier this week, Dillashaw was asked why this fight never came to fruition. Dillashaw suspects that Johnson not getting enough guaranteed money for the potential fight is the reason it never was made official (quotes via MMA News):
“I don’t really know,” Dillashaw said. “I think that’s a good question for Demetrious Johnson. Maybe he wanted some guaranteed money.
“Maybe he wasn’t willing to gamble on himself on the pay-per-view numbers. But as far as I was concerned, the fans wanted it, the UFC wanted it. Everyone knows I wanted it.
“I respect Demetrious Johnson as a person and as an athlete and that’s kind of why I was chasing him down. He’s got that target on his back.
“He’s got that pound-for-pound spot that I want to come in and take. Not only to make the big bucks on a big fight, but for the legacy.
“Chasing that spot down. So really I think it’s a question for him why it didn’t really happen.”
Despite the fight not being made yet, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are still holding out hope that it’s possible in the next year or two.
What are your thoughts on the fight between Dillashaw and Johnson not being made official? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!